Plans to relocate the Pontifical Scots College in Rome have been backed by Pope Francis.

Archbishop Leo Cushley met with the Holy Father at the Vatican on Saturday to discuss the proposed move.

He said: “Pope Francis expressed his full support for the intentions of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland to move the college into Rome city centre.

“I was delighted to hear that and I know my fellow bishops will be too.”

Archbishop Cushley updates Pope Francis on plans for the Scots College.

The decision to relocate the seminary, where young men in Scotland train for the priesthood, was announced in December after building upgrades were deemed too costly.

The college is currently on Via Cassia, around 10km from the city centre. The Bishops aim to sell the building and believe a more central location is the best option for the formation needs of the community and for future provision.

Archbishop Cushley added: “Saying goodbye, the Pope asked for our prayers, which I was happy to promise him on behalf of Scotland’s Catholics.

Archbishop Cushley is in Rome this week for the 50th anniversary of the council of European Bishops’ Conferences at the Plenary Assembly in the presence of Pope Francis.